The 1930s Kindle, Allen Lane's Penguincubator

In the 1930s, publisher Allen Lane installed a book-vending machine, the Penguincubator, in places where books were not supposed to be. What can we learn from Lane?

"Tell all the truth but tell it slant," Emily Dickinson wrote, and scholars have been slanting her life-story ever since. Lyndall Gordon tips the familiar Dickinson myths and spills new revelations in Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and her Family’s Feud. Gordon places Dickinson at the center of a "seething Peyton Place of adultery, betrayal and lifelong feuding," and posits that perhaps Dickinson was epileptic

Getting over the "Anxiety of Influence" of the Dead Poets' Society.

Pico Iyer on Jan Morris and V. S. Naipaul, two "master portraitists" of place.

Tonight at 7pm, the Melville House bookstore will host a "Future of Book Reportage" panel. Time Out NY's Michael Miller, salon.com's Laura Miller, O, the Oprah Magazine's Sara Nelson, Galley Cat's Jason Boog, and eBook Newser's Craig Morgan Teicher will discuss the future of book criticism as part of Melville House's "Publishing in the Age of Blah Blah" series. With this sharp collection of critics, you can be sure there'll be no blather.

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